Rue How-To: Make Your Own Hand Soap

Generally, I’m a liquid soap kind of person. But there’s something about these artfully designed bar soaps that spruce up a space. They also make an impressive gift in a pinch (just tie them with a ribbon). All you need are a few key ingredients. Choose your favorite colors (or ones that complement your wallpaper), any fragrance (from chamomile to peppermint), then melt the soap, stir it, pour it, cool it, and you’re done.

BLG-soapTo[1]

Makes one 4-ounce bar of soap

What you’ll need:

  • Sharp knife
  • Opaque white soap (I bought a 2-pound pack of shea butter soap from my local craft store. You can also find it online.)
  • Glass bowl
  • Spoon
  • Food coloring
  • Vanilla fragrance or essential oil
  • Soap molds
  • Soap stamps

How to do it:

  1. With a sharp knife, cut a 4-ounce block of soap and place it in a microwaveable glass bowl.
  2. Melt on high for 30 seconds. Stir, then place soap back in microwave for three to five 10 – 12 second intervals, stirring in between each interval until soap is completely melted.
  3. Remove soap from microwave. Add food coloring to soap one drop at a time, stirring between each drop, until desired color is achieved.
  4. Add fragrance or essential oil. A good rule of thumb for fragrances is about 5 drops per ounce. Mix thoroughly.
  5. With your stir spoon, put 3 – 4 drops of soap on the bottom of the soap mold. This will act as a glue for the stamp.
  6. Firmly press the stamp into the mold with the design facing up. At this point, if your bowl of soap has hardened at the surface at all, give it one last stir, or place it back in the microwave for a few seconds.
  7. Pour the soap into the mold.
  8. Leave the soap out to harden for 40 minutes to an hour, or place it in the refrigerator for faster cooling.

Removing the soap from the mold:

  1. Turn the mold over onto a clean surface.
  2. Place your thumbs on the top and slowly push down on the mold until it releases.
  3. With a sharp knife, pierce the corner of the stamp at a 45-degree angle and lift. Once a corner of the stamp releases from the soap, use your fingers and slowly peel the stamp from the soap.
  4. To store or gift the soap, wrap it in plastic wrap.

By Julia Ivins, Staff Writer

How did your soap turn out? Let us know in the comments below or tweet us @ruelala, then check out our Rue How-To column every Wednesday.

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March 6, 2013